Which Binoculars are Better: Bushnell L Series 10×42 vs Bushnell Prime 12×50

When it comes to binoculars, there are thousands of choices on the market. I am always very fond of the Bushnell binoculars especially the Bushnell L and Prime Series is my favorite. But, which one is best for you? Here’s a breakdown of the two most popular binoculars on the market: Bushnell L series 10×42 and Bushnell Prime 12×50. These are two of the most popular binoculars on the market. They both have their specifications as well as pros and cons. The answer to this question is a little complicated, let’s look at each model in detail.

Bushnell L series 10×42 Vs Bushnell Prime 12×50: A Quick Round-Up

PropertiesBushnell L series 10×42 BinocularsBushnell Prime 12×50 Binoculars
Objective lens size42mm50mm
Eye Relief18mm16mm
Exit Pupil4.2mm4.1
Field of View340ft at 1000 yards273ft at 1000 yards
Prism SystemRoofRoof
Prism GlassBaK-4BaK-4
Lens CoatingFMCFMC
Protective Lens CoatingPremium PC-3EXO Barrier
Locking DiopterNoNo
Eye CupsTwist-UpTwist-Up
Close Focus8ft/2.4 m10ft/3m
Image StabilizationNoNo
Focusing systemFastFast
Cut Chromatic aberrationYesN/A
Accessories includedYesYes
Smartphone mountNoNo
Adapts to TripodYesYes
WaterproofingYes – IPX-7 Yes – IPX7
O-ring sealedYesYes
Warranty‎Limited Manufacturer Warranty‎Limited Manufacturer Warranty
Weight2.20 lbs1.00 lbs
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Bushnell L Series 10×42 Vs Bushnell Prime 12×50

1.bushnell l series 10x42 vs bushnell prime 12x50

In this section, we are going to compare the design, features, functionalities, and other properties to conclude which pair is best between them. Let’s start –


The Bushnell’s binoculars are mostly elegant and sleek always. Also, they are durable and stable for rough use. In the design sense, the Bushnell L series 10×42 comes with a rubber construction whereas the Bushnell Prime 12×50 is made of aluminum material. Talking about the color, both series are designed in matte black with rubberized armor to ensure extra protection.

So far, there are so many similarities between the design of these 2 binocular pairs. Moving to the internal part. The Bushnell L series binoculars come with a BaK-4 roof prism system. There is an adjustable and smooth wheel knob at the center. The eye cups are also twisted up. For Bushnell Prime 12×50 binoculars, the roof prism attachment with BaK-4 prism glass is used. They have twisted-up eyecups along with a central focus wheel knob. The lenses are fully multi-coated. In that case, the Bushnell L series binoculars have a Premium PC-3 lens coating for protection from rough trails, collisions, and scratches.

On the other hand, the prime series is embedded with an EXO barrier coating to protect the binoculars from dirt, oil, dust, etc. Both series are designed to mount with a tripod perfectly. The weight of the Bushnell 10×42 is 2.20 lbs whereas the Bushnell Prime 12×50 is only 1 pound even though the power and objective lenses are bigger than the L series. In terms of weather resistance, they both are o ring-sealed, IPX7 waterproof, and fog proof. The ILX7 property means they both can be waterproof even if you keep them underwater for 30 minutes long.

Our verdictIn terms of design, construction material, lens coating, prism glasses, and waterproof capacity, these both are top-notch. It can’t be distinguished which one is the best between them just by their designs, size, and weight. So, we have to look forward to the features and performances now!

Features & Performance

When we talk about the features of 10×42 vs 12×50 binoculars, initially 2 numbers peep into our minds. That is the magnification and the size of the objective lens. When we compare 2 pairs of binoculars, the primary considerations are the magnification power and aperture. In this instance, The Bushnell L series comes with 10x magnification power to render detailed and close images of the targeted objects. The 42mm standard objective lens can produce a clear and bright version of the detailed magnified output.

On the other hand, the prime series can magnify the targeted objects 12 times closer to you. The objective lens width is 50mm. It can be more useful in low light conditions for the capacity of gathering maximum lights at a time. After that, the exit pupil value is related to the magnification and the diameter of the objective lens. It can be calculated by dividing the aperture by the magnification power.

The 10×42 pair has 4.2mm and the 12×50 pair has 4.16mm. The value of the exit pupil should be greater than 4.0mm so that you can use them for a longer period comfortably. If you wear eyeglasses, you can use them without any eye fatigue for the large eye relief distance. Though the L series 10×42 provides more eye relief than the rest one. Its 18mm distance will be more helpful than the Prime pair’s 16mm distance for eyeglass wearers.

Next, the close focus system of the 10×42 is 8ft / 2.4 m whereas the other one has 10ft/3 m. So you will get a close focusing facility in the Bushnell L series mostly. For the focusing system, both will enable you an easy and fast adjustable technique so far. You will get a smooth central focus wheel to adjust the knob. Again, both eye cups are twisted up. Besides, the field of view of Bushnell 10×42 is 340ft/1000yards. It’s quite large and wide to observe your surroundings perfectly without moving the pair.

As the magnification is quite lower than the 12×50 binoculars, as a result, this pair comes with a wider field of view. The Bushnell Prime 12×50, on the other hand, has a 270ft/1000 yards field of view and is relatively short but good enough for various activities. Additionally, the lens cap, cleaning cloths, and carrying bags are included and you will get a product-limited warranty and services for both series.

Our verdictAfter going through the features and performances, it can be said that both pairs are packed with a ton of features. And their performance is up to the mark. But in this article, as we aim to compare them, then we need to differentiate them based on the purposes of use. For wildlife viewing, spying, and whale watching, you can choose the Bushnell L 10×42 pair for its magnification, and superior image quality.

At the same time, this one is recommended for these activities from a wide range of fields of view. The close focus distance is suitable for spying, and wildlife viewing. The weight is quite heavy, but you can place it on the tripod while spying and peeping or observing the wilds or whales. For birding, long-range observing, sporting events, and hiking, you can go for the Bushnell Prime 12×50 binoculars. They will produce amazing image output. In the dim light condition, this pair will perform better for bigger objective lenses. Sports, hiking, and birding won’t require too much extra field of view. This pair is less than 1 pound. So it’s quite easy to hold and carry anywhere you want.

Price range

When budget is the consideration, both series can be found for under 200 dollars. The price range of the L series 10×42 is slightly less than the Prime 12×50 series binoculars. As both are mid-range binoculars, you can go for any of them considering the design, performance, and purposes.

Which binoculars are better: Final opinion

Bushnell always serves their customers top-quality products whatever the series and specifications are! In this circumstance, comparing and finally reaching a conclusion on which binoculars are better: Bushnell L series 10×42 vs Bushnell Prime 12×50 is a tough job truly. Here I have tried to break down their features, design, and performance based on the using purpose and give my opinion. So far, both pairs are great. Hopefully, all of you don’t have any confusion now as to which one is better for you!!

About Nathan Mattingly

My name is Nathan Mattingly, and I specialize in writing about optics, including binoculars, spotting scopes, monoculars, and rifle scopes. With a passion for the outdoors, I have developed a deep understanding of these products and their technical aspects. I excel at explaining complex concepts in a way that is easy for readers of all levels of experience to understand. Trust me to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information available to help you make informed decisions.

Leave a Comment